Who needs Employment Practices Liability Insurance in Canada?
You do. This is because change is the only constant. In life and work, it’s true that change is inevitable. Keeping current and ahead of the curve when it comes to change is essential for any business in Canada. And it’s essential for any employer in Canada. The people you employ are critical to the success of your business. And the employment standards that you follow in your business are critical to ensuring that you are meeting regulations and ensuring a safe and quality work experience.
Changes to Canadian labour standards started in 2018 and are forecast through 2021. The federal government explains, “Canadians deserve to have fair working conditions, proper pay and work-life balance. This section focuses on the legislative and regulatory changes to hours of work, wages, leaves, vacation, holidays and more. We are modernizing federal labour standards to better protect Canadian workers and help employers recruit and retain employees. The changes to the labour standards aim to:
- improve employee eligibility for entitlements
- improve work-life balance
- ensure fair treatment and compensation for employees in precarious work
- ensure sufficient notice and compensation when jobs are terminated
- improve administration of labour standards”1
As a result, these changes are already impacting employees and employers across Canada. Understanding what’s changed, what’s changing and what’s staying the same is important for all businesses. Certainly, misunderstandings with regard to employment standards can lead to lawsuits. Above all, protecting your business with employment practices liability insurance Canada is essential.
We’ve prepared this primer about employment practices liability to help you understand the benefits of this essential insurance.
COVID-19 and employment practices liability risks
COVID-19 is changing everything. That is to say, the new normal means that employers are facing unknown and unanticipated risks. Regarding changes to the labour program, the Canadian government notes, “Given current circumstances related to COVID-19, there is uncertainty regarding publication and coming into force dates. Further updates …will be provided as necessary. We thank you for your continued efforts in keeping workplaces safe and healthy during this challenging time.”2
As a result of COVID-19, we have been monitoring the many changes that Canadian businesses are undergoing. To help businesses manage their business risks during COVID-19, we have prepared some informative posts about COVID-19 risks, provincial workplace guidelines, insurance options and more.
- COVID-19 and workplace risk management in Canada
- COVID-19 and provincial workplace safety guidance
- Pivoting your business during COVID-19? Insurance options you need
- Changing operations? Here’s what you need to know
- Adapting your business due to COVID-19? Risk and coverage insights
One of the most difficult outcomes of COVID-19 is employee layoffs. The statement “We’re letting you go.” is never easy to utter or hear. That is to say, this difficult decision is something that many Canadian employers are facing right now and may be anticipating needing to make in the not-too-distant future.
Likewise, if you are contemplating layoffs, it is important to understand risks. A recent Canadian HR Reporter article about COVID-19 risks explains why legal risks associated with employee layoffs – such as constructive dismissal – should be on every employer’s radar. Similarly, it is important to understand employment practices liability during COVID-19.
In addition, it is also important to understand why the frustration of the contract should be on your radar during COVID-19. When you are making decisions about employment during COVID-19 it is important that you understand what potential risks you may be exposing your business to. And how employment practices liability – also known as EPL – coverage can help to fill important coverage gaps. In short, an ALIGNED Insurance broker can help you find employment practices liability insurance Canada solutions that will precisely fit your needs.
EPL | What government labour program changes you should be anticipating
While COVID-19 will continue to challenge Canadians in the months to come, it is also important for employers to continue looking ahead. Changes to the labour program are planned and some of the areas that you should be aware of are listed below.
“In 2019, the Government of Canada created the independent Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards. The objective was to consult on and provide advice on the following issues facing Canadian employers and workers:
- federal minimum wage
- labour standards protections for non-standard workers
- disconnecting from work-related e‑communications outside of work hours (sometimes known as the “right to disconnect”)
- access and portability of benefits
- collective voice for non-unionized workers”3
When labour changes are happening, keeping current is important. That is why employment practices liability insurance is essential. In addition to human resources best practices, well-organized and credible documentation can:
- demonstrate fair treatment
- deter litigation
- ensure employee honesty
- in the event that a lawsuit is filed, help with your organization’s defence.
In addition, following employment best practices can protect against wrongful termination, discrimination (i.e. age, sex, race, disability, etc.) or sexual harassment suits from your current, prospective or former employees.
Similarly, you can cover all employees of an organization including directors and officers as well as potentially extending coverage to third party liabilities.
In short, employment practices liability – which is available as a stand-alone coverage – can be part of a management liability package policy or a directors and officers insurance policy.
Complimenting your internal human resources practices, employment practices liability insurance Canada can provide the necessary resources you need defend your company against a lawsuit or to pay a claim.
Talk to us about your employment practices liability needs. Across the country, our experts can help with aligning the best EPL options to protect your bottom line in the ever-changing market.
Where to find more info about COVID-19 and the Canadian workplace
The pandemic is changing how we live, work and interact with each other. To help understand COVID-19 risks and commercial insurance Canada products, read our Insurance Blog. In addition, you can keep current by subscribing to our e-news ALIGNMENT Matters on our homepage.
Here’s a selection of recent COVID-19 related news articles that we hope you will find helpful.
- Understanding COVID-19 risk management in your Alberta workplace
- What to know about managing COVID-19 risks in your BC workplace
- COVID-19 risk management in your Ontario workplace
- E-news | Reopening, Changing direction? Shifting online during COVID-19?
- E-news | Cyber risks during COVID-19
- What you need to know about COVID-19 and your business insurance